[toc]This week, all eyes in the esports world will be on China as the World Electronic Sports Games begins on January 12. This event takes place across three action-packed days in Changzhou, just east of Nanjing on the Yangtze River.
The WESG will be awarding millions of dollars to players of some of the world’s most popular and hotly contested esports. In short, it’s a pretty good week for esports betting, so let’s take a look at the action.
Where to bet on esports
Betway is one of our favorite esports betting sites of last year, and it’s continuing the trend into 2017 with a recently-updated blog and a typically neat selection of esports bets. It still seems to be the site that has most fully embraced esports, and we hope it spurs tough competition.
SkyBet is doing well this week as per usual, with a good selection of bets on not only the major events but also some smaller tournaments. The most impressive thing, though, is its selection of betting markets for each match; there is really just an insane amount going on here this week.
We never have any complaints about the esports offering at Bet365, and this week is no exception. A good selection of League of Legends bets headlines its open markets, with a ton of action making it easily the most varied esports betting site of the week.
These sorts of weeks are the ones where Unikrn really comes into its own. They’ve obviously got competitive numbers for WESG, but on top of that it has a good selection of smaller tournaments covered. That is great for the esports betting connoisseur.
PaddyPower has perhaps the least comprehensive selection of WESG bets available this week. But it does have some early League of Legends Spring Split odds available, which goes some way towards making up for it.
Ladbrokes are still coming into their own as an esports betting site, and this week they’ve decided to give us a kiss – that is, a K.I.S.S., because they have kept it simple, stupid. They have markets for the WESG finals in CS:GO, Dota 2 and StarCraft 2 and that’s all she wrote this week.
Hopefully Pinnacle has not started 2017 as it meant to, as it started the year with an outdated schedule page, a confusing odds page and a distinct lack of WESG markets to be had.
The week in esports events
As you might have suspected, it’s quite a WESG-centric week this week. However, there are a couple of different events going on for those who don’t want to watch the action in China over the next seven days.
League of Legends
League of Legends gets the year off to a good start tomorrow with the EU Challenger Series Qualifiers getting underway from January 10 through January 15. There’s no room to breathe after that, as the 2017 Latin American North Opening League kicks off on January 16.
This week is a pretty action-packed one for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive players, with the WESG and a $1.5m prize pool. That’s followed literally one week later by Atlanta’s ELEAGUE Major 2017 and another $1 million to be won.
Dota 2 saw its first major tournament of the year this past week, with the ESL One Genting in Malaysia awarding $250,000 to four teams. The top dogs were Digital Chaos, who defeated Newbee to take home $125,000. Next up, we have (what else?) the WESG.
Heroes of the Storm
One of the few games not offering a big prize pool in China this week is Heroes of the Storm. Nevertheless HotS has some action at the end of January thanks to the Gold Series Heroes League.
StarCraft, too, has a hefty purse up for grabs in China this week. The WESG will be giving out $402,000 in StarCraft prizes, which is a fair bit less than some of the hotter and more current games, but still not a sum we’d say no to. In the same stretch of the world, the Global StarCraft II League is underway in Seoul.
There’s plenty of Overwatch action going on around the world, but sadly none of it is taking the shape of major esports events. Watch this space, though!
Hearthstone is another addition to the WESG this year, with $300,000 up for grabs and the virtual cards being dealt out this coming week.
Image credit: Photo by yong woo ‘kenzi’ kim used under license CC BY-ND 2.0.